WIMWIans are known to have the conquistador blood in them, yearning to brave uncharted territories. This was exactly what a motley group of them were doing on 18th September 2009. I joined this intrepid group of men and women with determined faces and slightly tense looks. The air was heavy with suspense and tension.
Rahul SK, a placecommer in his usual avatar, looked around and said “Let’s do it” and thus it began, …the garba practice.
To the uninitiated, garba is a gujarati folk dance performed during the festival of Navratri. Men and women dance in a circle around a lamp or statue of goddess Amba. It was precisely this art form which our fellow WIMWIans were trying to master.
I excused myself from the proceedings, saying I had to cover the event, silently thanking my stars. The group then began. At first, the group was unsynchronized and there was much hilarity. The degree of improvisation shown, while attempting to master the steps, had to be seen to be believed. But soon, under WIMWI Dance club’s able guidance, the dancing became more graceful. The ease with which the participants picked up difficult steps was astonishing. At the end of the day, the kind of coordination and mastery which was on display, made me wish I had also taken part.
So, what is it that drives this group ? Ankita, a PGP1, feels this is an excellent opportunity for a punjabi like her to savour the tradition of Gujarat. Charlotte from Sweden describes her experience as a “bit sweaty but a truly awesome Indian experience”. A PGP2, who prefers to remain anonymous, describes it as his own way of saying thanks to MJ.
Whatever their reasons, it is important to note that this group is a part of IIMA Cultcomm’s efforts to take the celebration of Navratri to a different plane altogether. Sandeep Jamatia, the Secretary of Cultural and Social Activities, wants this Navratri to be an occasion which every WIMWIan would cherish for the rest of his life. Thus, this time, the garba promises to be a grand affair with invites being sent to colleges all over Ahmedabad. WIMWIans are also eagerly awaiting the chance to showcase their dancing skills. The enthu of IIMA student exchange community has also been unbelievable.
I, for one, am eagerly looking forward to the spectacle and hope to see you all on 26th September at Vastrapur, Ahmedabad.
Vijay aka Maafi